Season 5 | Episode 1 – “Late-February 2020”
Finally! Our favorite fictional family is back. I am so happy to have the Bordelons back on my TV. I missed them. A lot has been happening in St. Josephine, so let’s get into it.
The season kicks off with Nova. *le sigh*. So, she’s having some kind of ceremony where she is thanking the spirits, asking for wisdom and offering a sacrifice – her hair. She clips her locks one by one, in an effort to be washed clean and have her purpose restored. Yeah. She needs that. Just in case you can’t tell, I am still not over Nova’s foolery from last season. Forgiveness don’t come easy over here.
So Nova is having a launch party to launch her newest project, “Tru Papers,” a digital advocacy website. She is having a lil shindig at her new house that she shares with Calvin. Things are kinda tense. Rid is there and he is like…this ain’t you. You fancy now and you done moved out the 9th. Nova says she didn’t move out, she’s moving forward. I can see this as being a huge issue in the future for her. Calvin is there and he is trying his best to explain that he was a “good cop” when he was on the force and trying not to make any of Nova’s Black friends mad. Charley comes in late. And RA decides to show up even later. Just as Nova presses play on the video, RA signals to her. Charley senses there’s trouble in sibling land and heads on out with them. Before RA can even break the news, everybody’s phones start going off. The Black farmers are being evicted, thanks to eminent domain and Parker and nem. Sidenote: The video that Nova shows includes a clip from a farmer in Oklahoma that got railroaded by the Beckington Group – the one that Parker heads up. Hmmmmm.
In relationship news, Nova and Calvin are having some relationship road blocks. Nova is learning how to live with a significant other. Yall know Nova ain’t really good with that kinda stuff. And Calvin is learning how to live with a Black woman and the importance of silk pillowcases. Calvin is also hella scared to take Nova around his family because he knows good and gahtdamb well they are racist and he doesn’t want the smoke. But I am here for any and all strife for NOVA, so there’s that. Let the bad times and hurt feelings roll.
RALPH ANGEL + DARLA
As the season opens, RA seems to be in a good place. He’s drinking coffee, sitting on the porch, and reading about how to raise his gifted child. Blue has taken up cooking and comes to get his father to partake in his burnt toast. They serve Darla breakfast in bed and they are a happy lil family. Darla looks tired and with the way the Bordelon men are taking care of her, I am high key wondering if she’s pregnant. I am loving their little happy, well-adjusted family.
Darla is headed out to work and asks if RA is going to Nova’s launch party. RA was seriously considering skipping it. I do not blame him. Yall already know how I feel. Darla encourages him to go and support. And that’s real big of Darla because Nova basically blew up her life a few short months ago. RA said he will think about it and then there’s a knock at the door. Looks like he’s getting served. *insert weary emoji here* Whatever it is, it ain’t good and RA destroys the paper. I hate how he does that. That paper is important. You just can’t be tearing everything up like that. And it WAS bad news. It was his eviction notice.
Apparently, Charley had been using some budgeting maneuvers to hold off the highway in order to buy time. But time is up and farmers got their notices. After the notices dropped, Charley called an emergency council meeting to get to the bottom of it. Some BLACK dude on the council says that Charley gave the farmers false hope, so it’s whatever. And Charley says that at least she’s trying to give. All the rest of them do is take. Jackson (the sellout on the council) is actually FOR the highway. He doesn’t care what happens next. And finally, the moment I have been waiting for for 5 whole seasons happened. Ralph Angel stood up for himself and HIS land. Because remember, HIS daddy gave it to HIM and he wants everybody to know that all the times. So yeah, RA finally told Charley that he appreciates her trying but it shouldn’t be all on her. PRAISE YE THE LORD! FINALLY! Because EYE am tired of the whole parish being on Charley’s back. Anyway, RA let his feelings be known. The council needs to do something – ALL of them! Back at the farm, RA burns eviction notice. Nova comes through to check on him. RA still not really rocking with her like that yet. She says that “we” are going to handle this situation. And RA was like…”we?” I hear that RA. Nova ain’t never been the team player type. But Nova has something dear to her on that land…her mama. And she will not stand for anyone disturbing her mama’s resting place. She tells RA that she loves him and that she’s growing. She asks him for full forgiveness. Let me say that I am just happy that she still has something to prove to somebody. Trust is hard to earn. She needs to earn it. PeriodT.
On a happy note, at the end of the episode, RA proposed to Darla! And she said, “YES.” Woot woot! I am happy for RA. He is usually such a sour patch kid. I need to see him smile more. I know times is hard, but RA needs a lil joy.
AUNT VI + HOLLYWOOD
Vi is in her favorite spot – her restaurant. She and Hollywood are preparing for the Feast of St. Josephine. Apparently, in order to kick off her historic term as the first Black woman to serve on the St. Josephine City Council, Charley is having a program to pay homage to St. Josephine – the Black woman that the parish is named after. Now…allllla these years, and ain’t nobody knew this until Charley told them. *insert gif of Iyanla staring here* Anywho, Vi is in charge of the catering and Wood is helping her out. He tried to shade Charley about this program, but Vi was like…no sir. On another note, Wood is really just there to see if he can get some cookie from Vi. They are annoying and cute all at the same dayum time.
In some exciting news, Hollywood is going to open up his “man space.” I am happy for him. Mainly because I just want him to have something to do besides be all up on Vi.
COUNCILWOMAN CHARLOTTE “BADAZZ” BORDELON
At Charley’s mini-mansion, she is watching a news report about the closed hearing that’s happening today. Frances is about to get sentenced! You remember Frances “antebellum hag” Boudreaux, right? She torched Charley’s mill and thought she was gonna get away with it. Charley is looking ah-mazing with a new short cut and a blue off the shoulder dress. I see you, girl! She looks worried though. She phones Woke Micah, who tells her the he will not make it to court with her…and he’s sorry about not making it to dinner last night too. He’s busy. Charley brushes it off, but she’s missing her baby that she aint seen in TWO WHOLE MONTHS. What in thee entire hell? Charley ain’t like me. If my kid went to school 20 minutes away and I ain’t seenT him in two months, I am riding up to the skewl. PeriodT. Of course she’s disappointed. She had some breakfast for the two of them, which she throws in the trash. She straightens her dress and heads to court – alone. Is this gon’ be Charley’s trajectory? We only 10 minutes in and I am sad for her already. *Badazz alert* Charley got a new whip — a G Wagon. She pulls up at the courthouse looking like a million bucks. The fam is there to greet her and support her. Errrybody except Woke Micah. SMH.
In the courthouse, at a closed hearing, Frances is in an orange jumpsuit looking like the thug she is. She has already been convicted of arson. She is still pretending like she’s innocent and claims she’s the victim. Girl, bye. Just as Frances is getting her sentence, Parker walks in. Ole girl got SEVEN years. I gotta admit, I am surprised. And so is Parker.
After seeing her auntie get hauled off to the pen in cuffs, Parker drags Charley to court for the highway matter. The people of St. Jo voted for the highway (why the hayle did they do that) and now all of Charley’s moves are an attempt to change the will of the people. Or at least that’s Parker’s argument. Charley says she was voted in to stop the highway and dammit that’s what she’s gonna do. Charley’s new sidekick, Nova, is present at the proceeding and presents evidence to the judge regarding the Beckington Group’s activity in Oklahoma that wrecked a community, based on their disregard for the environment. The judge considers it and Charley’s argument that an environmental study needs to be completed before farmers are evicted. The judge also wants a proposal for routes for the highway that impact the least amount of people. So issa win for Charley. But we know better, don’t we children? SN: I have to put on my lawyer hat here. Why doesn’t Charley have a lawyer for his hearing? Why are they all at the bench? Why was Nova able to interject and enter in evidence? What kinda foolishness is this? Ok…lawyer hat off now.
As the sister duo exits the courthouse, Parker stops them. She congratulates Charley for kicking so much azz lately. Strike 1 – Frances is going to be a jailbird for 7 years. Strike 2 – the judge has ordered they find another route for their funky lil highway. Y’all think Parker gon’ let her get another win? I think not. Anyway, Parker tries to be cordial and actually puts out her hand – from “one badass Black woman to another.” *record scratch* NO MAAM! We ain’t sistahs right now. Charley is like…what do you want, because I ain’t here for it. Parker tells Charley that she wants to talk ALONE. Nova was like, you don’t get to dismiss me – ever. Now, I agree. Parker ain’t got no right. But, Nova gets on my nerBs so I was screaming at the TV – “let Charley decide!” LOL Parker backs down and says she thinks there might be some areas they can agree on. She’s down to talk whenever Charley is. It’s on Charley.
And you know Charley is a glutton for punishment, so she DID call Parker and told her to meet at the burnT mill. Charley was there waiting in a cute lil pink wrap dress. Parker comes in all cheery. Hey, girl…I’m glad you called. I heard you gonnaa be getting a big check soon. You gonna rebuild? This bish is really outchea talking to Charley like they girlfrans. Uh, no. Charley ignored all of that and told her to walk with her. Parker says that she is trying to help St. Jo move forward. She believes that these folks need to break their dependence on an economy that was never meant for us. Ah, yes. You see folks…this is all for their good. Got it. They shouldn’t be fighting to keep St. Jo tied to farming. It’s so…last century. Get with the times, Charley. And then Parker calls Charley a Booker T. Washington. I chuckled. Charley was like…ma’am, you are NO WEB Dubois. So don’t even flatter yourself. You are leading us into the new Black reconstruction? I think not. Oh..and she called Charley a “sistah” again. I chuckled again because Parker is really trying it. Parker says that truth is a gift. She read Nova’s book (no surprise – I just hate how this book will continue to follow them). And Nova believes in truth too (I beg to differ). Charley was like, what you NOT gonna do is use that raggedy azz book to disguise this threat. Parker says that’s not her intent. She just wants to offer a sweeter deal. They must have been taken aback by Charley’s wins, so now they are willing to take eminent domain off the table, speed up the process and give everybody double what the gubment would have paid them. See. Everybody wins. Now Charley is hot as fish grease and kicks an innocent barrel. Dammit, girl. I brought you here to see the damage that your trifling azz aunt did because of you. This wasn’t MY mill, this was OUR mill. There was pride in having a mill that the community was happy to support. And then Charley does what I kinda wish she hadn’t. She declines the deal on behalf of ALL of St. Jo…and Parker asks her if she’s sure she speaks for all of them. And when she asked that, I knew the sh*t was about to hit the fan soon. Parker is BIG MAD now, and she tells Charley that the fight has JUST begun. Good luck, girl.
At the Feast of St. Josephine, the Black folks have gathered to pay homage to the St. Josephine. It’s a beautiful ceremony, with Blue leading the way across the bridge with a picture of Ernest. Charley announces that every February, they will meet there to honor the ancestors and St. Josephine. I love it. I just love it. SN: Charley’s hair is longer in this scene and I am wondering if we are ushering in a Charley’s weekly wig situation. If so, I need to know because we need to start naming these wigs. But I digress. Afterwards, there’s a banquet and everybody is giving Charley all the props. Vi says she’s thankful because the town has a different mindset now (thanks to Charley). No more sitting around and waiting for things to get done. RA doesn’t look happy about this. I kinda feel like he’s tired of Charley fighting for his land. That’s good, RA. Because I am tired of Charley fighting for it, too. And just as we start to get all of the feels, the sponsor of Charley’s event takes the stage to speak. But guess who gets up to the mic? PARKER! Wtf? Charley is confused. Nova is confused. We all confused. And Nova states the obvious – this isn’t good. Apparently, Parker became a board member of the bank just in time to crash Charley’s event. She announces that they have had a change of heart. Thanks to Charley, we have heard you and we are going to make a change. The Beckington Group has found a new route for the highway. Parker announces the new route – one that goes straight through the cemetery where all of our people are buried. I sweatergawd it never stops. Immediately, St. Jo did what St. Jo does best. They literally come for Charley. Vi has to tell everybody to shut the hell up and give Charley a chance to digest this information. Charley is pissed. She leaves, runs to her office, rips maps off the wall and lets it all out. Vi comes to check on her and asks if she’s ok. Charley finally tells the truth and says no. BUT SHE WILL BE. She doesn’t have the answers, but she WILL NOT LOSE. It’s not an option. She ready. And with that, we kinda know what we are in for this season. Ughhhhhhhhhh!
A quick note on Woke Micah. He been real busy because he been pledging. I got questions tho. Like…freshman can pledge as soon as they hit the yard? I may be hating because I had to wait. And who decided that he would pledge fake Kappa? Just wondering. Anyway, he done crossed and I guess da probate is coming soon. You ain’t bouta be able to tell Woke Micah nothin. You hear me?
Per the usual, I got observations, questions and concerns:
On hair: What’s happening with Vi’s wigs this season? I don’t think I approve of them. Is Charley about to be on the wig train, too? I like Nova’s new cut. It’s ca-uuute.
On the Antebellum Hag: Did Sam and nem leave Frances to rot? Were they totally hands off and allowed the system to handle her? Where Jacob at? Why wasn’t he there to see his mama go to jail? I did peep that back at Charley’s place, the next news story was about Jacob Boudreaux’s big announcement. Now what could that be? Will privilege get Frances out in no time? I wouldn’t be surprised if she got out well before those seven years are up. Will she catch daRona in jail? Just a thought.
On Charley: Is she gonna have a man this season? She needs an outlet and somebody be with. This ain’t new tho. They always give her the short end of the stick in the man department. And with Rona on the way, I guess Woke Micah will be coming back home. I am mad for Charley. Being quarantined with Woke Micah gonna be da worsT. And he’s a fake Kappa now too? Yeah no. Charley should send him to stay with Davis and Tia or see if he can stay at Nova’s old crib in the 9th. I see lots of aggravation coming Charley’s way. And Parker. My Lawd. Parker is going to have Charley up at night. Yall pray for my girl.
On Prosper: He’s looking good. He was at the courthouse and he helped Wood paint his new spot. But where’s Miss Genny? I need her back and I want to see some senior citizen love on full display with those two.
On Booker T and WEB: Before the season started, the show runner, Anthony Sparks, posted a picture of books that the writers used as inspiration. Among them were, ‘The Souls of Black Folk’ by Dubois and ‘Up From Slavery’ by Washington. The DuBois v Washington debate is still a good one. What is the answer for forward movement? According to DuBois, the answer was in intellectualism, scholarship, and political action. Political action and civil rights is the way. Washington believed that we should not be worried about white folkx. Work and elevate yourself. Stay true to industry and farming. Save your money, be enterprising and eventually, you will see freedom. I never saw what Charley was doing as a Washington strategy. I saw it as her understanding the value in property and heritage. And considering that she saw beyond farming and built a mill that would make the farmers partners, I don’t see a problem. Also, agriculture IS big business, why would they want to abandon it? Especially, when that’s all they have ever done. And how is taking a Black person’s land contributing to the upward movement of our people? Parker is advocating for taking away their land and vocation in order to push them to something else. But if most of those farmers are older, then what?
On COVID: I wonder how COVID will impact this fight for the highway? Will any of the Bordelons get it? You know St. Jo is a rural town and things haven’t been going well for rural America. I love that Ava decided to re-write this season to include current events.
Welp. That’s all I got. I am glad my cousins, The Bordelons, are back on my tv and on my mind. I missed everybody except for Nova. What are your predictions for the season?